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Definition of Referendum

Referendum

  1. The principle or practice of referring measures passed upon by the legislative body to the body of voters, or electorate, for approval or rejection, as in the Swiss cantons (except Freiburg) and in various local governments in the United States, and also in the local option laws, etc.; also, the right to so approve or reject laws, or the vote by which this is done. Referendum is distinguished from the mandate, or instruction of representatives by the people, from direct government by the people, in which they initiate and make the laws by direct action without representation, and from a plebiscite, or popular vote taken on any measure proposed by a person or body having the initiative but not constituting a representative or constituent body.
  2. A diplomatic agent's note asking for instructions from his government concerning a particular matter or point.
  3. The right to approve or reject by popular vote a meassure passed upon by a legislature.

Referendum Quotations

It is difficult to understand these people who democratically take part in elections and a referendum, but are then incapable of democratically accepting the will of the people.
Jose Saramago

Drafting a constitution is only the first step. The constitution has to be granted legitimacy by open discussion and a fair, representative referendum.
Emma Bonino

If we had a consensus we wouldn't have to go to a referendum.
George Papandreou

Maybe this will be the beginning of a trend? Flat taxes, cutting foreign aid, a referendum on Europe, grammar schools. Who knows?
Nigel Farage

Why don't we hear more about and from Asians when it comes to race in America? Are Asians the new Invisible Man - there but not there? In some ways, yeah. Blacks and whites are always carping about the metrics of racism. And any conversation about immigration reform is immediately flipped into a referendum on Hispanics.
John Ridley
More "Referendum" Quotations

Referendum Translations

referendum in German is Volksbegehren